98,000 Verdict for Injured Mother After Teen Runs Red Light – Martlett v. Fuller

The Winnebago County personal injury lawsuit of Candice Martlett and Jonathan Martlett, a minor v. Jennifer Fuller, 09 L 68, is yet another example of a defendant driver admitting liability for a car accident, but denying the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries. However, despite the defendant driver’s denial of the plaintiff’s injuries, the Illinois jury returned a $98,000 verdict in favor of the plaintiffs.

The car accident took place in a Winnebago County intersection. Twenty-seven year-old Candice Martlett was driving with her young son, Jonathan. Martlett had stopped at a red light, but then proceeded to drive northbound through the intersection when the light turned green. As Marlett entered the intersection, eighteen year-old Jennifer Fuller was driving westbound through the same intersection.

Fuller hit Marlett’s vehicle, causing the intersection car accident. Following the car crash, Candice Marlett suffered from knee and back pain; her son was fortunate enough to only suffer from some bruises. Marlett’s knee pain continued for some time following the accident and was eventually diagnosed as a knee contusion with scarring under the fat pad of her patella, or knee cap. Marlett underwent cortisone injections and physical therapy, but eventually required arthroscopic surgery to repair her knee injury. In addition to the medical bills Marlett accrued following the car accident, she was also forced to miss a year of work as a certified nurse’s assistant.

While Fuller admitted that she had drove through the red light and caused the intersection accident, her attorney denied the plaintiff’s claims of a knee injury. In its defense, Fuller’s attorney pointed to Marlett’s lack of complaints of knee pain at the accident scene. In addition, Marlett refused an ambulance at the car crash scene. And while Marlett did present to the emergency room later that evening, she continued to deny any knee pain. It was not until one month following the Illinois auto accident that Marlett finally began to complain of knee and back pain.

Likewise, the defense also contested Marlett’s claim for lost wages. At trial, it stated that Marlett had in fact quit her job two months before the Illinois car accident and did not have any interviews or job offers pending at the time of her intersection accident. As a result, the defense claimed that Marlett was not entitled to wage loss damages.

The jury entered a verdict of $98,717 in favor of both plaintiffs. Prior to the end of the jury trial the defense had offered to settle for $75,000; however, the plaintiffs had turned down that offer and were rewarded with an addition $23,000 from the jury. The verdict was made up of a $98,324 award to Candice for:
-$55,000 for pain and suffering;
-$27,760 in medical expenses;
-$8,064 in lost income; and
-$7,500 for disability.

The jury also awarded $393 to her son, Jonathan, which was made up of $193 in medical expenses and $200 for pain and suffering.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Illinois automobile accident lawsuits for more than 35 years in and around Chicago and Cook County, including Peoria, Evergreen Park, Orland Park, Western Springs, and Westmont.

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